Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
March 22, 2017
Present: Heather Clark, Clayton Condrey, Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Blair Deffenbaugh, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, and Ben Tyler. Matt Decker was absent.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:25 PM, on Wednesday, March 22nd 2017, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Guests were Clayton Condrey in person, and via phone, Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler.
- Motion to approve the February minutes as revised on the Google drive (Senior / Fouse)
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers reported that our checking account held approximately $150K, with an additional $12K in savings. She was still working on the complete books to date and hoped to have a detailed report soon.
Sam then interjected his analysis of the March race. He reminded the Board that we had two kinds of expenses, actual race expenses, and unallocated overhead, the money we spend on other things which have no specific income stream associated with them. That overhead he had calculated to be about $30K per year, and when spread over 10 race days, that comes about $3000 per race day. So, while we lost only $3500 on the actual race expenses, we were in the hole almost $10K for the weekend. He said that he attributed this to both the weather scare and the entries we lost to the Majors at Atlanta being scheduled on top of our event, and for that reason, he had sent a letter to Lee Hill, Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, and Tere Pulliam, our Area 12 Director and Secretary of the SCCA Board, asking that we be compensated $5000 for the entries we had lost to Atlanta. Sam indicated that he did not really expect that the money would be forthcoming, but that it never hurts to ask, and besides, he made his point that Atlanta’s scheduling problem had cost us real income.
- VIR Flag Shack Move. VIR has requested that F&C vacate the building in the far North Paddock that they have been using to store equipment in for the past few years. Heather Clark put this item on the agenda so that the Board could discuss the various alternatives which had been proposed via e-mail, including building a new building for SCCA use on the VIR grounds, obtaining a good-sized trailer for F&C to use so that their equipment would be portable, and getting another garage from VIR. Mark Senior, who is the track liaison with VIR, said he thought the most important thing we could do was to come up with a date for the move and a plan. That would make VIR management happy in the short-run. The date was determined to be the Monday after the SARRC-MARRS event, May 8th. Sam dismissed the new building idea as not feasible in the short run and said that the easiest solution would be to obtain another garage. He asked Mark to request one from VIR for free, but to agree to pay rent if required, though hopefully at a reduced rate. Sam pointed out that erecting a new building would not only be impossible in a short period of time, but that it would also negate any money F&C had hoped to spend on an additional ATV. An additional garage, on the other hand, would not only allow them to make that purchase but give them a place to keep the vehicle between events. Mark agreed to talk to Kerrigan. There was further discussion about where flag meetings could be held once the equipment was no longer stored in the old building in the far North Paddock, but no resolution was reached.
- Grid Issue at the March Into Spring Event. Clayton Condrey, as Chief of Grid, was specifically present to discuss this problem. It boils down to the stewards ordering him to release cars early and ignoring his objection that what they wanted to do was unsafe. This happened twice during the event, the first time on Saturday right after lunch, and the second time on Sunday morning. Sam had obtained copies of the race logs and read from them, providing proof of Clayton’s complaint. On Saturday, Clayton said, only two minutes elapsed between his asking for a PA announcement to call cars the grid and the order to issue the 5-minute warning. Then the one-minute warning was ordered just 2 minutes later, with the subsequent instruction to let them go immediately. Sam testified that for the Saturday incident he had heard the entire radio exchange first-hand while working as a flagger on station four. Mark Senior also testified that he had been a driver in that group on Saturday at the start of the ECR-CCPS-TCPS race, and he indicated that by the time got to the grid, he was motioned out on track, without getting checked, He had not had time to put his gloves on and had to do so while driving. Sam had had a discussion with Clayton and Eric Danielsen immediately following the Saturday incident, and another with Executive Steward, and NCR Region member, Morriss Pendleton, who was also acting as an Assistant Chief Steward for the weekend. The stewards seemed more interested in Clayton following orders than with the serious safety issues their orders had created. It was noted that Eric, as Race chair, had been summoned to the tower and told he should reprimand Clayton and tell him that he could be replaced if he did not follow orders. Eric had protested that this was not his job as Race Chair. The Sunday incident was less dramatic, but involved releasing cars for hardship warm-up. Clayton had held three cars on the grid, for just a few seconds and well within the five-minute window, while waiting for a fourth to join them. This angered the stewards again. The discussion among the Board members was lengthy and lively, and by unanimous consensus, they agreed that Clayton had acted properly and the stewards improperly, and they wanted Sam to pursue this with Morriss in his capacity as Executive Steward. Sam agreed to do so.
- March Into Sprint Post-Mortem. Sam said he had nothing more to add following the financial report and the discussion of the grid incidents.
- Worker Credits for Specialty Chiefs. It was observed that several Specialty Chiefs and their trusted assistants, particularly F&C and T&S, often arrive at the track during the day before an event, and spend considerable time and effort getting things in order for the next few days of racing. It was pointed out that they should be able to claim worker credits for those days, just as the volunteers in Tech, Paddock, and Registration do, who are scheduled to be there. Bruce pointed out that the worker participation spreadsheet on the Google drive will allow for the Chiefs to claim those days for themselves and others. Motion that the Chiefs and their assistants be allowed to claim additional days worked (Powers / Shanks). Passed.
- Withdrawl and Refund Policy. There was a discussion of our current refund policy after the disastrous March into Spring event. Two issues had to be resolved first. The first issue was the refund policy of MotorsportReg,com (MSR) They recently announced a one-hundred-percent refund, with no merchant credit card fees deducted, for people who withdrew but had paid with a credit card. This meant that there would be no liability from them when we granted refunds. The second issue was our sanction fees to SCCA. It was noted that we had until 14 days after the date of the event to submit a check to the National Office, so we could comfortably wait awhile to see whether there were any late withdrawals. As Office Manager and a registrar, Bruce wanted our stated policy to be that drivers still had to notify us at the track before they left of their intention to withdraw, but he was willing to extend the time from until the end of the day Sunday. Motion to have the Supps state that drivers have until 5:30 on Sunday to notify us of their intention to withdraw, without penalty, but that our unofficial policy be that they have up to five days to do so, and after five days, we give them their money back less $50 per day for worker credits and lunches (R, Deffenbaugh / Senior). Passed.
- Driver cancellation of MIS several days late. It was reported that Mike Rossini of Race Engineering had notified us on March 20th, nine days late, that he had withdrawn from March into Spring event. Motion based on the foregoing new policy to grant him a full refund minus the fees and worker credits we had already paid (Senior / Shanks). Passed.
- Entry fees for the SARRC-MARRS. Sam announced that he had compromised on raising entry fees for the SARRC-MARRS event and only raised the entry for the ECR-CCPS-TCPS by a nominal $10. He said that the increase was justified because our costs continue to escalate and unlike many Regions which charge much more for their Saturday races than their Sunday ones, with our generous discounts, drivers in these series were getting a real bargain.
- Final Spring Sprints Items. Mark Senior, Race Chair for the Spring Sprints, reported that he had arranged for lunches for all three days, the usual sort of limited social for Friday night, and a gala on Saturday night which would feature a 5-piece bluegrass band and BBQ provided by Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh, to be held in the Gallery at VIR, like last year. There would be no tickets, just first come, first served. The Gallery was chosen for its size and because it had lights and tables already in place. It has nominal seating for 350 but we have budgeted for 400 people. Th band will be paid for by the $1000 the SCCA National Office is providing, and the total bill for this food and entertainment for the weekend is expected to be $12K, or close to last years’ $13K. Sam said he would not hesitate to authorize Mark to spend up to that amount if needed. It was decided by consensus that beer would be free, wine would be free until the initial allotment ran out, and that there would be a cash bar for those who wanted something stronger. We would be paying VIR for the use of the facility, but we would be saving money on the food, since the outside vendor was charging about half the rate VIR had quoted us per person. Sam added that we would have t-shirts for both driver’s and workers. They will again have other items for us to sell on consignment. On another issue, Sam indicated that he was still planning to buy signs from a sign shop which would point to the location of Registration, and also some that said things like “Scales Open” and “Scales Closed”, as well as signs pointing to the entrance of the scales. He was advised to check the SCCA garage at VIR to see what signs were already available there.
- Race Engineering Social Sponsorship Not Yet Received. In other business, it was noted by Rex Deffenbaugh that he had talked to Chris at Race Engineering about the $500 sponsorship fee they still owed us from last season’s Goblins Go. When Bruce indicated that we still had not received any payment from them, Rex said he would talk to them again.
- Vendor fee for Appalachian Tire. Sam noted that he had yet to inform Appalachian Tire that we would no longer pay their $225 vendor fee to VIR. They would be responsible for that themselves. The only vendor fee we will continue to pay is for F&S Photography in exchange for their invaluable service as our trophy providers and presenters.
Chapter and Committee Reports: Chapter Reports for the Triangle and West Chapters were posted on the Google drive under March for 2017. These were not discussed.
Motion to adjourn at 9:12 PM (Powers / Clark). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks